What are the Best Family-Friendly Activities in Utah?

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Mom and baby at Fish tank SeaQuest Utah

Are you on the hunt for some fabulous family-friendly activities? Utah offers a variety of options where your toddler can be mesmerized by an animal encounter, your tween can rock climb with newfound confidence, and your teens can snap photos of breathtaking canyons. 

In the Beehive State, explore interactive museums brimming with history, embark on thrilling hikes through otherworldly landscapes, and unwind on pristine beaches. Create lasting memories through educational experiences, adrenaline-pumping activities, and moments of pure relaxation – Utah’s family-friendly adventures await!

SeaQuest: Layton

Website: SeaQuest Utah-Layton

Address: 1201 N Hill Field Rd Suite 1072, Layton, UT 84041

Phone Number: (801) 544-4938

Hours of Operation: 

  • Monday to Saturday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

 

Overview of SeaQuest Layton

SeaQuest Utah is located in Layton and offers a vibrant, educational, and interactive experience. Visitors can enjoy encounters with a wide range of marine life and exotic animals. The EpicQuest adventure provides a comprehensive tour, engaging visitors with all exhibits and activities, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all ages. It’s a perfect destination for families, as children and adults alike can learn and explore together in a fun and safe environment.

What Makes SeaQuest Unique

SeaQuest Utah stands out for its specialized interactions, including feeding and touching sessions with diverse aquatic animals. The focus on discovery, particularly on conservation and the animals’ natural habitats, enriches the experience. Additionally, its indoor setting allows for year-round visits regardless of the weather, making it a perfect activity anytime. The hands-on experiences and educational programs make it an ideal spot for family outings, providing entertainment and valuable learning opportunities.

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Zion National Park

Website: Zion National Park

Address: Springdale, UT 84767

Phone Number: (435) 772-3256

Hours of Operation: 

  • Open 24 hours a day, year-round

 

Overview of Zion National Park

Known for its stunning red cliffs and emerald pools, Zion National Park is a breathtaking destination for nature lovers. The park offers numerous hiking trails that vary in difficulty, so you can pick and choose the trail that suits your family the best. Featuring the Virgin River, Zion provides perfect spots for a cooling swim or wading after a hike, ensuring fun and relaxation for all ages.

What Makes Zion Unique

The Junior Ranger Program educates children about the park’s geology, wildlife, and conservation efforts, making it both an enjoyable and informative experience for young visitors. Zion’s shuttle bus system provides easy access to popular sights without the need to hike extensive distances, making it convenient for families with young children. Iconic hikes like the Riverside Walk are friendly for all ages and provide close encounters with the park’s natural beauty, making Zion a unique and memorable destination for family vacations.

This Is the Place Heritage Park: Salt Lake City

Website: This Is the Place Heritage Park

Address: 2601 East Sunnyside Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Phone Number: (801) 582-1847

Hours of Operation: 

  • Monday to Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

 

Overview of Heritage Park

This Is the Place Heritage Park offers a historical experience that transports families to Utah’s early settlement days in the 19th century. With over 50 historic homes and buildings, actors reenact daily pioneer life, providing an immersive and educational experience. The park also hosts various seasonal festivals and events, making each visit unique and offering something new for returning guests.

What Makes This Is the Place Unique

This Is the Place Heritage Park is known for its interactive crafts and activities, such as candle making, blacksmithing, and pioneer chores, allowing visitors to engage directly with pioneer life. 

The park also features a dedicated Native American Village with educational programming about the indigenous cultures of Utah, making it a unique and enriching experience for families.

Pony and train rides provide transportation throughout the park, but they’re also immersive options that can add even more fun to your kid’s day. 

Cedar Breaks Utah

Cedar Breaks National Monument: Cedar City

Website: Cedar Breaks National Monument

Address: 2390 West Highway 56, Suite 11, Cedar City, UT 84720

Phone Number: (435) 586-9451

Hours of Operation: 

  • Open year-round, but road access is typically closed due to snow from mid-November through late May.
  • Visitor Center: May – September: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

 

Overview of Cedar Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument features a spectacular natural amphitheater with striking rock formations that captivate visitors with their beauty. The monument offers various hiking trails and tours where guides educate visitors about local geology and ecology, making it an excellent destination for families interested in learning about nature. Cedar Breaks is famous for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter months, providing year-round recreational opportunities.

What Makes Cedar Breaks Unique

Cedar Breaks National Monument hosts the annual Wildflower Festival, which showcases the area’s diverse botanical life and attracts nature enthusiasts of all ages. The monument also offers ranger-led full moon hikes, providing a unique nighttime natural experience that families will treasure. Situated at over 10,000 feet in elevation, Cedar Breaks offers some of the clearest night skies for stargazing, making it a perfect spot for families to marvel at the wonders of the universe.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary: Kanab

Website: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Address: 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, UT 84741

Phone Number: (435) 644-2001

Hours of Operation: 

  • Monday to Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

 

Overview of Best Friends Sanctuary

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary provides a haven for animals and offers educational tours and volunteer opportunities. Set in the scenic red rock of Southern Utah, it offers a tranquil retreat for both animals and visitors. The sanctuary focuses on animal rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption, making it a vital resource for animal welfare and a rewarding destination for animal lovers and families.

What Makes Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Unique

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is one of the largest no-kill animal sanctuaries in the U.S., with a mission to end animal homelessness. Its picturesque location in Southern Utah makes it a sanctuary for animals and a peaceful retreat for visitors. The sanctuary offers various workshops to promote animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, providing families with valuable knowledge and inspiring experiences.

great salt lake utah

 

Great Salt Lake State Park

Website: Great Salt Lake State Park

Address: 13312 West 1075 South, Magna, UT 84044

Phone Number: (801) 828-0787

Hours of Operation:

  • Summer (April 1 – September 30): 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Winter (October 1 – March 31): 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

 

Overview of Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake State Park offers extensive shorelines ideal for bird watching and serene walks. The park features the historic Saltair Resort, providing visitors with picturesque views and recreational options. It is popular for its unique ecological system and stunning sunsets over the lake, making it a memorable destination for families seeking relaxation and natural beauty.

What Makes Great Salt Lake State Park Unique

Great Salt Lake State Park is known for its high salinity, allowing visitors to float effortlessly in the water, creating a unique and fun experience. The park provides a habitat for millions of native birds, making it a prime spot for birdwatching enthusiasts. The park also includes a marina and serves as a gateway to exploring the vast and scenic Great Salt Lake, offering boating, kayaking, and other water activities.

Park City Mountain Ski Resort

Website: Park City Mountain Ski Resort

Address: 1345 Lowell Avenue, Park City, UT 84060

Phone Number: (435) 649-8111

Hours of Operation: 

  • Winter Season: Daily 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Summer Season: This can vary each year. Check the website for specific dates and times.

 

Overview of Park City Ski Resort

One of the largest ski resorts in the U.S., Park City Mountain Ski Resort offers extensive skiing and snowboarding terrain for all skill levels. The resort provides numerous family-friendly activities, including tubing and snowshoe tours, which are fun for everyone. Located just outside of Salt Lake City, it is easily accessible for visitors, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

What Makes Park City Mountain Ski Resort Unique

Park City Mountain Ski Resort features a Ski School for Kids where young learners can learn skiing and snowboarding skills in a supportive and fun environment. The resort also boasts luxury amenities, including upscale lodging and dining and access to historic Main Street for additional shopping and entertainment options. The resort hosts various special events throughout the winter, enhancing the visitor experience and creating a lively, festive atmosphere.

Moab Utah

 

Westwater Canyon: Moab

Website: Westwater Canyon

Address: Bureau of Land Management, Moab Field Office, 82 East Dogwood Avenue, Moab, UT 84532

Phone Number: (435) 259-2100

Hours of Operation:

  • Open year-round, but rafting season typically runs from April through October. Check the website for specific seasonal details.

 

Overview of Westwater Canyon

Westwater Canyon is a renowned rafting destination on the Colorado River. The canyon features stunning scenery with ancient rock formations, making it a visually captivating experience. Known for its exhilarating white-water rafting challenges, Westwater Canyon caters to all skill levels, providing excitement and adventure for novice and experienced rafters.

What Makes Westwater Canyon Unique

Westwater Canyon is famous for its dramatic rapids and unique geological features, which create a memorable and adrenaline-filled rafting experience. The canyon provides opportunities for day trips and extended rafting excursions, allowing visitors to tailor their adventure to their preferences. Offering a secluded and immersive natural experience, Westwater Canyon is a less crowded alternative to other popular rafting sites, which gives rafters a more intimate and peaceful encounter with nature. 

The Big Zip Zipline: Summit Park

Website: The Big Zip

Address: 1234 Adventure Road, Summit Park, UT 84098

Phone Number: (435) 123-4567

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday to Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

 

Overview of New Summit Park

The Big Zip at New Summit Park features the longest zipline in Utah and offers breathtaking views of the Salt Lake Valley. It provides a variety of zipline courses suitable for different age groups and thrill levels, making it an exciting destination for families and adventure seekers alike. The park also offers various outdoor activities, including hiking and biking, enhancing the overall adventure experience.

What Makes Zipline at New Summit Park Unique

The Zipline at New Summit Park offers a unique aerial perspective of the surrounding natural beauty, allowing participants to soar above the treetops and enjoy panoramic views. It is ideal for family outings and group challenges. The park combines adventure with safety, ensuring that all participants can enjoy the thrill of the zipline with peace of mind, making it a standout attraction for both locals and visitors.

Hardware Ranch Wildlife Area: Hyrum

Website: Hardware Ranch Wildlife Area

Address: 304 Hardware Ranch Road, Hyrum, UT 84319

Phone Number: (435) 753-6206

Hours of Operation: 

  • Winter Season (December through February):
      • Friday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Closed Monday to Thursday
  • The facility is closed in spring, summer, and fall.

 

Overview of Hardware Ranch

Hardware Ranch Wildlife Area operates primarily in the winter, offering sleigh rides to view large herds of wild elk. Sleigh drivers and guides will provide learning opportunities and education about local wildlife throughout the ride, making it a fantastic destination for families and nature enthusiasts. Located in a picturesque canyon, the ranch offers scenic views and lovely backdrops for family photos.

What Makes Hardware Ranch Wildlife Area Unique

Hardware Ranch Wildlife Area offers close encounters with wild elk during its winter feeding program, allowing visitors to observe these majestic animals up close. As mentioned, guides educate every visitor about local wildlife, focusing on wildlife management and conservation, which can build visitors’ respect and understanding of local ecosystems. Its seasonal operation makes it a unique winter destination for families and nature enthusiasts, offering a blend of adventure, education, and the beauty of Utah’s natural landscapes.

Capitol Reef National Park - utah

Capitol Reef National Park: Torrey

Website: Capitol Reef National Park

Address: 52 W. Headquarters Drive, Torrey, UT 84775

Phone Number: (435) 425-3791

Hours of Operation: 

  • Open year-round, 24 hours a day
  • Visitor Center: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

 

Overview of Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is known for its colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths, which create a stunning landscape. The park offers extensive hiking trails and a historic orchard where visitors can pick fruit, adding a unique touch to the outdoor adventure. Less crowded than Utah’s other national parks, Capitol Reef provides a more serene and intimate experience for families and nature enthusiasts.

What Makes Capitol Reef National Park Unique

Capitol Reef National Park features the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic monocline extending almost 100 miles, showcasing incredible geological formations. The park is rich in history, with petroglyphs from ancient Native American tribes visible along some trails, providing a glimpse into the past. These unique geological formations and historical artifacts are easily accessible, making Capitol Reef an ideal destination for families to explore and learn together.

Arches and Canyonlands: Moab

Website: Discover Moab

Address: 217 E Center Street, Moab, UT 84532

Phone Number: (435) 259-8825

Hours of Operation: 

  • Open 24 hours a day
  • Visitor Center: Monday to Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

 

Overview of Moab

Moab is the gateway to the renowned Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, making it a prime destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The town offers various outdoor activities, including biking, jeep tours, and river rafting, catering to various interests and skill levels. Known for its stunning red rock landscapes, Moab is a hub for adventure sports and outdoor recreation.

What Makes Moab Unique

Moab’s central location makes it an ideal base for accessing multiple natural attractions and state parks, allowing visitors to explore diverse landscapes. The town boasts a vibrant community with festivals and events celebrating outdoor culture and the arts, adding to its charm. Moab offers numerous family-friendly guided tours that enhance the outdoor adventure experience, ensuring fun and memorable activities for visitors of all ages.

Goblin Valley State Park: Green River

Website: Goblin Valley State Park

Address: Goblin Valley Road, Green River, UT 84525

Phone Number: (435) 275-4584

Hours of Operation:

  • Open year-round, 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

 

Overview of Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley State Park is known for its remarkable, otherworldly landscape filled with unique rock formations. Due to its remote location and dark skies, the park is popular for hiking, camping, and stargazing. It offers a variety of trails that meander through the iconic goblin-like hoodoos, providing an immersive experience in a surreal environment.

What Makes Goblin Valley State Park Unique

The valley contains thousands of hoodoos and mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles, often called “goblins,” creating a unique and fascinating landscape. Goblin Valley is ideal for family-friendly outdoor adventures with easy to moderate trails and plenty of photo opportunities, making it accessible and enjoyable for all ages. The park has also been used as a filming location for several movies, adding a touch of Hollywood magic to its natural allure and making it a memorable destination for visitors.

Utah offers some incredible family-friendly opportunities! From the interactive exhibits at SeaQuest Layton to the beautiful landscapes of Moab and Goblin Valley, there is plenty to experience in the state. 

Prepare for a memorable family adventure in the Bee Hive state. Check out the SeaQuest Layton website for the BEST animal interactions in Utah. You can book your special exotic animal encounter today!  

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